Celebrating Anniversaries at the Trinity Christmas Tree Festival 2019

Centenary of the Addison Act 1919, Wimblecomm

Wimbledon Community Association supported the Trinity URC Christmas Tree festival in December as we have done for the last three years, and for 2019 it was based on the theme of anniversaries.

This was the 5th time the church has held the festival and contributions were made from a variety of individuals, organisations, premises hirers, local businesses, schools and charities.

Over the 3 days of the festival, several hundred visitors came to see the trees, visit the Craft & Gift Fair, and to enjoy the wonderful live music which was a very important part of the Festival.

In total there were thirty-nine trees this year and many people apparently commented that the standard was the highest yet.  Over 250 votes were cast in total for the “Favourite Tree”.  The winning trees were:

1st place – Coombe Hill Manor’s wonderfully colourful “Pride” tree

2nd place – the “RSPB” tree by the McLeish & Pearson families

3rd place – “60 years of growing tomatoes” by Gilli & Brian Lewis-Lavender

After expenses, the festival was able to make a donation of £13,750 to this year’s cause, which was the London’s Air Ambulance Charity.

Our thanks to everyone at Trinity and the Mansel Road Centre for its continued membership and support of Wimblecomm and we look forward to working with you again in 2020 and – hopefully – to another colourful and interesting Christmas Tree Festival!

The Wimblecomm Tree – the Centenary of the Addison Act 1919

At Wimblecomm, we decided to commemorate the centenary of the 1919 Housing and Town Planning Act (also known as the Addison Act). Included in our tree decorations were some interesting facts about council housing and social housing generally (a specialist area of interest to our Chair, David) which we replicate below:

  • Prior to 1919, most rented housing in the UK was generally provided by the private sector
  • Some industrialist / philanthropists provided rented housing which later became charitable housing associations
  • The Addison Act of 1919 is generally seen as the birth of state-owned council housing in England & Wales much of which was aimed at working people
  • One of the initial aims of the programme was to provide homes for victims of the 1st World War and help stimulate the economy
  • Major council building programmes also happened after the 2nd World War and in the 1960’s / 1970s
  • At its peak there were around 5.3m council owned properties in 1980 out of 5.5m social homes. This represented around 32% of total national housing stock.
  • Council housing stock started to reduce significantly from 1980 after the introduction of the Right to Buy
  • Many councils transferred their stock to housing associations after the 1988 Housing Act, if a majority of the local tenants voted for it
  • Housing associations also started to become the main developer of social housing during the 1980s
  • In 2019 there were around 4m social homes – 1.6m council homes and 2.4m housing association homes. In total this represents a reduction to around 17% of the national housing stock.

Written by David Hall

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